Campus Climate Update

Cover photo of campus

Campus Climate


In November 2016, UMass Amherst conducted a Campus Climate Survey, a web-based questionnaire that asked students, staff, and faculty about:

  • Perceptions of the inclusiveness of the campus community overall
  • Experiences and interactions within classrooms, schools/colleges, workplace environments, and the surrounding community
  • Experiences and interactions shaped by social identity
  • Perceptions of the university’s response to unfair treatment
  • Changes needed to make UMass Amherst a more welcoming and inclusive place for all

We wanted to assess whether our values were reflected in the daily experience of members of the campus community in order to better understand the challenges of creating an environment that is respectful and inclusive for all.

Frequently Asked Questions Learn more: Read the Unit Reports

If you are having difficulty reading the charts in any of these reports, please contact Disability Services by phone (V/TTY) at 413-545-0892 or email at

Learn About

Background Methods

Learn about our approach to the campus climate survey design and extensive outreach to obtain survey responses from a representative cross-section of the UMass Amherst community. Each section of this abridged report features visual illustrations of quantitative results and an accompanying narrative that compares results across social identity groups.

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Who We Are

Learn about the demographic composition of the undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty who comprise UMass Amherst. The campus climate survey sought to extend our knowledge by utilizing more inclusive and conceptually progressive categories (relative to federal reporting categories) to measure race/ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual identity.

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Perceptions of Campus Climate

Learn about perceptions of the campus environment and tensions driven by social identity. We illustrate and discuss results pertaining to the overall campus climate and focus in on differences in perceptions of diversity and inclusiveness, racial climate, and the university’s level of commitment to inclusion.

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Experiences with Unfair Treatment

Learn about an experiential aspect of campus climate—unfair treatment. The campus climate survey asked individuals whether they experienced unfair treatment during the fall 2016 semester based on 11 social identity characteristics (e.g. race, gender, political view), as well as job level, status, and rank for staff and faculty.

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Classroom Climate Snapshot

Learn about students’ perceptions of their interactions in the classroom context. The undergraduate and graduate student versions of the climate survey included identical questions about classroom experiences. This section is abbreviated, featuring data visualizations only, broken down by race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, political view, and disability type.

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Workplace Climate Snapshot

Learn about staff and faculty perceptions of their immediate workplace climate. Although some employees may consider the entire campus to be their workplace, most work within smaller spheres. This section is abbreviated, featuring data visualizations only, broken down by race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, political view, and job type or rank.

Read this section


Building Bridges

Building Bridges is a campus initiative that seeks to draw on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, nationality and more.

Campus Climate Ambassadors

Campus Climate Ambassadors were a core group of faculty, staff, and students who engaged with their peers in purposeful conversations about where we are and how to get where we want to be.

Campus Climate Improvement Grants

Campus Climate Improvement Grants encourage faculty, staff, and students to play an active role and bring their creativity to the work of improving our campus climate. We fund projects and activities that promote understanding and learning, as well as invest in relationship-building across difference in the campus community

Hate Has No Home at UMass

Hate has No Home at UMass is a campaign that seeks to unite the campus in defense of diversity and inclusion.
Many Voices Our UMass

Our Promise

The survey is only the beginning. In the coming months and years, we will work together to regularly develop dialogues, resources, and methods of evaluation to create a campus climate where all members of our community can thrive. Your survey responses confirm that we share a range of perspectives, which we celebrate as a campus. “Many Voices, Our UMass” recognizes the importance of preserving the plurality of voices, valuing difference and freedom of expression, as well as the need for respect and tolerance to sustain community.

Read Message from the Campus Leadership Council - Our Promise